PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) announced a new grant creating a 3-year $627,000 apprenticeship program, also known as the KTECH Model, for students in Hazard and Perry County.
HCTC'S President Dr. Jennifer Lindon says this is the first program of its kind in Kentucky.
"They'll start job shadowing their freshman, sophomore year," Lindon said. "And then in their junior and senior year, they will actually go into a full-paid apprentice program."
High schoolers can follow a pathway geared toward their career of choice, giving kids a chance to step into full-time employment after graduation or continue working towards an associate's degree.
"We are focusing here in Hazard and Perry County on healthcare and IT [information technology]," she said.
This opportunity takes test-riding to another level. Education & Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey says young people decide if the job fits them and businesses decide if the person fits the job.
"We now have to look at creative ways that we can start to remedy our workforce. This morning, I have 115,000 open jobs here in the Commonwealth. I have to fill them," Ramsey said.
Not stopping at county lines, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Chancellor Dr. Kris Williams says there are many opportunities for students to get involved.
"We partner as the 16 KCTCS colleges with a lot of dual-credit pathways ... so some technical skills in high school that could then transfer into an apprenticeship later at a company," Williams said.
High school students can begin participating in this project as early as the fall of 2019.
You can learn more on Issues and Answers Monday, May 6, at 7 p.m.